What are the Best Collaboration Options for Modern Businesses?

As businesses increasingly move their operations to digital platforms, and in particular to cloud space, even the most traditional staples of running an organization are being improved by embracing technology.[wcm_restrict]

Document Sharing at the Basic Level

Numerous popular applications are available for uses such as document sharing. Dropbox and Google Docs are particularly widely used as a means of remote collaboration. Both platforms now even fully support editing “in-app,” removing the need to download a document a colleague uploaded before editing and re-uploading themselves.

Try Dropbox for Business
Try Google Docs

Users can even watch as colleagues update data or text in real time, or open chat windows to discuss changes that need to be made. These apps aren’t merely limited to two colleagues at a time, either. Multiple stakeholders can get involved, leading to a more efficient workflow and businesses being able to achieve their objectives quicker.

Collaborative Workspaces

While the above apps have proven popular, businesses often need something different in order to provide a collaborative workspace beyond the reviewing and editing of documents and spreadsheets. This often leads businesses to use project management apps. Many different variances of these types of apps are available.

Podio is a popular, hybrid style app that offers both a live chat/messaging stream as well as the ability to upload and share documents. Leaders can also be appointed within the app, and private messaging can be setup within one account, enabling easy collaboration as well as the sharing of any confidential documentation or discussions among relevant team members.

Apps such as Pivotal Tracker and Basecamp bring together all of these features. Pivotal Tracker even measures the ‘velocity’ of projects by providing visualizations of when tasks are completed, giving users a snapshot of how their individual tasks as well as an overall project is project is progressing.

Try Podio
Try Basecamp
Try Pivotal Tracker

Collaboration for Board Members and Management Teams

Document sharing and project management apps, although widely used across business operations at all levels, can still leave a gap when it comes to boardrooms and management teams. Although apps such as Skype and GoToMeeting have long been popular for hosting remote meetings and bringing together teams from across the world, in recent years the emergence of board portal software has proven to be a game changer in this field.

Board portal software is today considered an essential in many businesses, with FTSE 100 companies in the United Kingdom, Fortune 500 companies in the United States, as well as governments across the world, using the available platforms to make their board meetings more productive and improve the efficiency of their leadership operations as a whole. While there are numerous examples of collaboration software available for businesses to consider, using an independent review service can help you find the most suitable product for your company quicker. Crowd Reviews is considered one of the leading websites in this respect, and you can read their reviews of collaboration software here.

Crowd Reviews rates Azeus Convene as the leading provider in this space, but carries information and reviews of the top 100 collaboration software products.

Try Azeus Convene

Collaboration Tools are an Essential

Does your business consider collaboration tools an essential for maintaining productive operations? Which tools does your business use? How effective are they at meeting your business objectives, and perhaps more importantly, how effective are you at getting the most out of their features to make your business operations more efficient?

Ask yourself these questions when choosing or assessing your use of collaboration platforms, whether you’re using relatively simple document sharing apps or need an all-in-one solution for your executive leadership team.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Gemma Walford is head of Sales and Account Management for Convene for the EU region. She has extensive experience of the Public sector and is interested in improving productivity and business change.

What to Ask When Choosing Collaboration Software

As a modern and forward thinking business, no doubt that if you don’t already use cloud based collaboration software, you’re embedded in the process of discovering what options are out there for you and what they could offer.

While taking advantage of free trials of various software is a great way to identify what really works for your business, by ensure you choose exceptional products in the first place you can find a quicker path to enjoying the productivity gains these platforms can deliver.[wcm_restrict]

Using Review Websites

Review websites exist for almost every industry, and that is no different in the case of collaboration software.

The key when finding a review site is to ensure it’s an independent one. Many review sites are basically cheerleading sites that are actually owned by the company that is ‘ranked’ at number one. They’re fairly easy to spot. is an excellent independent website that effectively acts as an online buying guide for whatever you need. You can find their overview of collaboration software here.

Review websites are a fantastic resource, but what questions do you need to ask beyond the information you’ll find there?

What Has Been Said, But More Importantly Who Has Said It?

Influencer marketing is a great initiative that has helped many companies become successful in recent years. While you’re not looking for a sponsored opinion, when looking at reviews do any of the reviewer’s names stand out?

Has a thought leader in your industry been waxing lyrical about a specific app? Has an executive at a company you follow closely had a bad experience with a specific platform? Have any of your existing contacts from your phonebook or LinkedIn network used any of the software solutions you’re looking at, and if so what did they make of it?

Look out for quality, in-depth reviews from credible, authoritative individuals, and you’ll find the right software for you, quicker.

What is the Company Like?

One of the quirks of the modern business world is that it is entirely possible to have a brilliant product or service but an exceedingly poor service offering. Is dealing with bad service something you have time for? We’d wager not, so as soon as you get a sniff of a company who will treat you like a million dollars when you’re in their sales funnel but less so once you’ve signed up and paid up, avoid dealing with them.

You’ll discover instances of this scenario when reading their reviews, but often it’s worth just giving them a call yourself and having a discussion. It’s usually easy to find out if a company has a different customer service number than to their sales team, and most will openly advertise both on their website. Try that service number and see how long you’re on hold.

Is the Product Right for You?

This will usually be a dealmaker or deal-breaker depending on the flexibility of the product you’re looking at. Often there will be an incredible platform, but it’s just not something you’ll be able to use effectively in your business.

If you have doubts as to whether a product will work for your business, this is where the use of a free trial can come in useful. Your trial should help you to answer any final questions you have as to the suitability of the product and how it will work in real terms in your business.

Ask the right questions when choosing collaboration software for your business, and you’ll find the platforms that are most effective for your company, quicker. rates Azeus Convene as the world’s number one collaboration software.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


About the Author

Gemma Walford is head of Sales and Account Management for Convene for the EU region. She has extensive experience of the Public sector and is interested in improving productivity and business change.